Andy Peatling announced on Twitter today that he had completely rewritten the forums component for bbPress alleviating what he says are integration nightmares. One of the biggest advancements for the component is no longer needing an existing bbPress install to function. bbPress is now included as an external which can be setup in one click for new installations which is pretty darn cool in my book. If you already have an existing bbPress install, you can point the component to the bbPress bb-config file.
Also of note are the forum management tools in this new component:
Added complete forum management for group mods and admins (sticky/delete/close/edit) and edit/delete for group members on their own posts. Make sure you update your theme with the new template files in the /groups/ directory to get access to these features.
However, the “use existing install” option needs some testing so if you use BuddyPress, lend Andy a hand. Also expect some changes down the line with how it functions based on testing feedback.
Possible Growing Pains?
This new component reminds me of WordPress MU and WordPress. WordPress getting developed as the main project and WordPress MU just building on top of it. That’s what I see with BuddyPress and bbPress although I don’t think the component is getting any additional bbPress love that’s not there by default.
While this component now makes it as easy as possible to have forums as part of your BuddyPress powered site, I foresee many more bbPress users in the future which in turn should lead to more bugs being discovered, more patches being written, and of course, more feedback for Sam. bbPress ought to benefit from this ease of integration but one thing I’m concerned about regarding both projects is the development resources behind each one. Sam Bauers develops bbPress, Andy Peatling develops BuddyPress. That’s it in terms of paid developers. The rest comes from any contributions the community makes towards those projects. I wonder what will happen if BuddyPress becomes as big as I think it will and at the same time, brings bbPress along for the ride? Will they be able to handle their respective eco systems? It’s a problem I’m sure they would like to have but I’m interested in knowing how much more development resources will be pushed to these two if things go well.